Calculators and Tools

NFIB Weekly News

NFIB Weekly News Leading the News

President Signs Coronavirus Relief Package Into Law (03/31/2020)

The AP (3/27, Taylor) reported the President “signed an unprecedented $2.2 trillion economic rescue package into law...after swift and near-unanimous action by Congress this week to support businesses, rush resources to overburdened health care providers and help struggling families during the deepening coronavirus epidemic.” The AP added lawmakers and the Administration acted “with unity and resolve unseen since the 9/11 stem an economic free fall caused by widespread restrictions meant to slow the spread of the virus that have shuttered schools, closed businesses and brought American life in many places to a virtual standstill.” Reuters (3/27, Morgan, Cornwell) said, “The rare bipartisan action underscored how seriously Republican and Democratic lawmakers are taking the global pandemic that has killed more than 1,500 Americans and shaken the nation’s medical system.”

However, according to the Washington Post (3/27, A1, Kane, Debonis, Werner), “Tensions between the White House and Congress over how the law will be implemented became immediately apparent,” as the President in his signing statement “wrote that he would not permit a new inspector general to issue certain reports to Congress ‘without presidential supervision.’”

Business Climate

IMF Head: Global Economy In Recession Due To Coronavirus, But Could See “Sizeable Rebound” In 2021 (03/31/2020)

The AP (3/27, Crutsinger) reported International Monetary Fund Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva announced Friday that the “global economy has now entered a recession that could be as bad or worse than the 2009 downturn.” However, the agency forecasted a “sizable rebound” in 2021 if nations manage to contain the virus and limit economic damage.

Small Business Marketing

Amazon, Others Cut Streaming Bit Rates During Pandemic (03/31/2020)

ZDNet (3/24, Leprince-Ringuet) reported that “the global COVID-19 pandemic is forcing more employees to work from home everyday, and with each of us connecting to our household’s router to carry out record numbers of Zoom calls, the pressure on broadband networks to support unprecedented demand for connectivity is building up.” ZDNet says, “Netflix has agreed to reduce its streaming bit rates across Europe to help keep internet traffic under control during the pandemic, as have Amazon, Apple TV+, Disney+ and Facebook.”

Wages and Benefits

Analysis Warns Insurance Premiums Could Increase As Much As 40% Next Year Due To Coronavirus Hospitalizations (03/31/2020)

The New York Times (3/28, Abelson) reported a new analysis by Covered California “says premiums could increase as much as 40 percent next year if the pandemic results in millions of Americans needing hospital stays.” The organization “estimated the total cost to the commercial insurance market,” and found that “depending on how many people need care, insurers, employers and individuals could face anywhere from $34 billion to $251 billion in additional expenses from the testing and treatment of Covid-19.” Hoping to offset such potential costs, “insurers and employers are already prodding Congress to consider helping them pay for the crisis by setting up a special reinsurance program that would cover the most expensive medical claims. The federal government would fund the program to lower the amount being paid by employers and insurers.”